Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are in a bit of a doldrums at the moment in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). After winning two matches out of nowhere, they have suffered consecutive big losses at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) which has affected their net run-rate as well. In the meantime, Dinesh Karthik also stepped down from captaincy ahead of the game against MI.
He handed over the mantle to Eoin Morgan to concentrate on his batting given that he was struggling a lot earlier in the tournament. However, despite playing as a specialist wicketkeeper-batsman, he couldn’t turn things around batting at four on Friday. In an attempt to play a sweep shot off Rahul Chahar, the former KKR skipper ended up getting bowled for just four runs.
Dinesh Karthik has so far only scored 112 runs in 8 matches in this IPL season at an average of 14. He has managed only a solitary half-century but apart from that, he has nothing to show with the bat. With things getting desperate for KKR in the second half, the management might think of dropping him and including some fresh legs sitting on the bench. But for that to happen, they will have to tweak their team combination.
Here are three ways in which KKR might think of axing Dinesh Karthik:
1. Tom Banton plays as WK and include any Indian bowler
This is the best way possible to strengthen the batting line-up for KKR. With Chris Green not making any impact with the ball of his IPL debut, Tom Banton can replace him. The youngster from England is specialist wicket-keeper as well and he can replace Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps as well. The fact that he opens the innings as well will help KKR get some quickfire starts too in the powerplay overs.
But he will replace a bowler in Chris Green and that will lead to the management including an Indian spinner or pacer in the line-up. The options available for KKR in that aspect are Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Manimaran Siddharth and Kamlesh Nagarkoti (who was dropped for MI game).
Kuldeep, the chinaman bowler, is the most experienced among them and looks a perfect swap for Green. Also, after sitting on the bench in the last few matches, Kuldeep must have definitely worked on his skills and will be hungry to perform well.
2. Nikhil Naik replaces Dinesh Karthik
If the KKR management is not willing to tinker with the team combination much, then they can also opt for Nikhil Naik as a straight swap for Dinesh Karthik. Naik is also a decent wicket-keeper and is known to play quickfire knocks down the order.
Nikhil played in the opening game of the season for KKR and batted at seven. He scored only one run off three deliveries and was dropped since then.’
Including him will also reduce the pressure on Andre Russell as the finisher and Nikhil Naik can come down the order to bat freely in the death overs. Also, this will allow Eoin Morgan, the skipper, to bat at four and hold one end during the innings for KKR.
3. Tom Banton replaces Green/Cummins and include Indian batsman
KKR might not think of this option unless things become extremely desperate for them. With the restriction of four overseas players in the playing XI, Tom Banton can replace either Chris Green or Pat Cummins. The latter is the leader of their pace attack but hasn’t performed to the potential this season apart from a couple of matches.
Tom Banton can then open the innings with Rahul Tripathi taking care of the middle-order or play as a finisher lending support to Russell.
With Dinesh Karthik not in the team, KKR can strengthen their batting even more by including either Siddhesh Lad or Rinku Singh. This will leave them with only five specialist bowling options and if Lad plays, he could be their potential sixth bowler.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- IPL 2020: Match 54, KKR vs RR – KKR’s dominance over Royals, Cummins’ 4-wicket haul, Karthik’s records and more stats
- IPL 2020: Match 46, KKR vs KXIP – Gayle’s match winning knock, End of KXIP’s losing streak vs KKR and more stats
- Something is happening in the KKR camp which is not right: Brian Lara
- IPL 2020: Dinesh Karthik hands over KKR captaincy to Eoin Morgan with immediate effect
- IPL 2020: Match 24, KXIP vs KKR – A narrow win for KKR, A big stand in vain, Karthik’s record against KXIP and more stats